There seems to be a buy-out frenzy in motion in the online-payments realm in recent years. Optimal Payments have announced their bid to take over e-wallet giant Skrill will be completed by the end of the month, with the deal set to cost them around $800 million (about £520 million to us Brits).
When Did All the Moving Start?
This pattern of big payment service companies buying one another up started back in 2013, when Skrill purchased Paysafecard.
Shortly after in 2014, Ukash followed suit to make Skrill an enormous global force for payment methods both online and in brick and mortar shops. Since both Ukash and Paysafecard work by converting pre-paid cash money into an online usable code, it made perfect sense for Skrill to merge the two methods, which happened in the first quarter of 2015.
What Next for Optimal Payments?
The deal will bring Optimal Payments into a marketplace with some enormous companies, and though this is only speculation, they may well have their sights firmly set on catching up with global payment service provider Paypal.
This seems however, like a very distant horizon at this moment in time with Paypal's value estimated at about $40 billion. But the move does come at a time where Google, Apple, Amazon and Paypal are each vying to control payments on a global scale. The pattern of companies buying out others is therefore likely to continue, as evinced by Playtech's recent buying rampage.
For smaller companies to compete in the digital marketplace where global companies roam, it is necessary sometimes to join forces in order to take on the Golliaths. For you, the players, we hope that the Optimal Payments takeover means a greater level of customer service and reduced costs where possible. Watch this space.